Preview Lunch at Puck’s Five Sixty

Today I lunched at Wolfgang Puck’s unfortunately named new restaurant Five Sixty (should have taken our advice) in the former Antares space in Reunion Tower. The crowd numbered about 30 and included journalists and the like along with people who had worked on the project. My table included Jennifer Johanson, the San Francisco-based lead designer of the “classic modern” space and all-around cool chick who happened to grow up in Preston Hollow. Puck was on hand as were his wife and Bono-lookalike brother. I chatted with Shawn Horne, formerly of Kitchen 1924 (RIP), who is now on GM duty at Five Sixty. Anyway, I know y’all prolly want to know about the food. If so, jump.

Executive chef Sara Johannes’ menu skews heavily Asian, and the passed hors d’oeuvres reflected this influence. There was tempura-battered Japanese eggplant with miso sauce, yellowtail sushi and sashimi, and cones stuffed with ahi tuna. The lounge menu will feature sushi and robata bar selections.

Appetizer was a dumpling duo: pork belly potstickers with black vinegar (top left) and shrimp and lobster shu mai bathed in a curried lobster emulsion (bottom right). They were tasty, the fillings wrapped tautly in the not-too-chewy dough.

Next up was a wild striped bass with pineapple sambal, sauteed watercress, and a scant smattering of red Thai curried shrimp. The pineapple was an unusual complement but seemed a good addition to the savory elements. Changing gears, we were next presented with Colorado lamb chops (pictured) served with fried rice and silver pots of Hunan-glazed Japanese eggplant salad. My chops were decent (would have liked them more rare), but the sides drew raves from the table. The flavors were akin to familiar Chinese fare. (Mmmm, takeout.) Not a bad thing.

Finally (drum roll, please) dessert. The menu read simply “Banana Cream Pie” (left). It was actually a bruleed banana on top of whipped cream, a banana filling, and a crazy-flaky crust. The dish also included a petite scoop of chocolate gelato perched on a piece of merignue (at least that’s what I’ve decided it was). Yum and yum. Ate every bite. But still saved room for the homemade chocolate truffles, tiny chocolate cookies, and bite-sized brownies that followed. But that’s just me.

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